How often should home air filters be changed?

In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend changing your air filter every 90 days or 3 months. That may change depending on the location of your home (e.g. e.g. dry and dusty climates), if you have pets and the age of your system and equipment.

The only way to ensure how often you need to change your air filter is to perform a visual inspection of the filter every month. After a few months, you'll get an idea of how quickly it gets dirty. You will need to re-evaluate if you have a new pet or if the outdoor air quality has been poor. Air filters and oven filters should be checked at least once a month.

If they are dirty, they should be replaced with a clean, clean air filter. By removing the air filter from the air handler, if you hold it close to a light source, you can see if the filter is dirty or clogged; if you can't see the light through the filter, it's definitely time to change it. The ideal is to change your air filter every three months, however, there are certain factors to consider when determining when to change an old filter. A general rule of thumb for pleated air filters (such as those manufactured by FilterBuy) is to replace the filter every 90 days.

As the filter traps more dirt, dust and allergens from the air, the efficiency of the filter decreases. Find out below if you should replace the filter more often. Air filters need to be changed every 90 days on average. An HVAC filter will only last one to three months on average.

Which means you need to keep track of the date you installed them. If you wait too long to change the filter, indoor air quality will suffer. We are going to explore each of these factors. This is by far the most important factor.

The filter collects dust and debris only when the system is operating. The more it works, the faster the filter picks up dirt. During a bitter cold Minnesota winter, a furnace filter will need to be changed more often than during a mild Missouri winter. On the other hand, you will need to change the filter more frequently during a hot and humid Missouri summer than during the Minnesota summer.

Remember that a filter also gets dirty during AC mode. Do you find pet hair in your oven filter? Hair fibers from dogs, cats, rabbits and other mammals are large compared to dust and dirt that normally trap the filter. That means they clog the filter and block the airflow pretty quickly. The more important clean air is, the more often the filter needs to be cleaned or changed.

A coarse-media filter, MERV 11 or higher, or an electronic air filter is the best option when someone in the household has asthma, severe allergies, or difficulty breathing for any reason. The air will be cleaner than if a basic fiberglass air filter is used. You may also want to consider an air cleaner for your system. Our Air Purifier Guide contains comprehensive information on all types, including electronic and media air filters, how they work, which is best for your purpose, and more.

Cheap fiberglass filters require less frequent replacement than pleated filters. Some sites get this exactly the other way around, claiming that thicker filters can last longer between changes. That goes against the design of the filters. Coarse-media filters trap more and smaller dust particles, so they obviously clog up faster.

Slim fiberglass filters don't trap as much dirt and debris, so they don't clog up as quickly. The good news is that some of those filters can be cleaned with a nylon brush and placed back in the oven or air controller instead of replacing them. Cleaning should be done outside or in a garage to keep dust and dirt out of your home. If removing dirt with a brush instead of replacing the media filter, be sure to change the filter after two or three cleanings.

In the end, brush cleaning will not remove enough deeply embedded dirt and debris. In larger homes, more air flows through the filter than in smaller houses. Because the air carries dust, pet hair, and other debris, the filter will get dirty more quickly in a system that serves a large house. Some of you wonder what we mean by continuous fan mode and why a homeowner would use it.

There must be a setting in the thermostat, such as Auto and Fan options. In automatic mode, the fan works only when the system is heating or conditioning the air in your home. In fan mode it works all the time until you turn it off. The longer the system works, even if it is not heating or air conditioning, the faster the filter will get dirty and it will need to be changed.

Is continuous fan mode a good idea? Here are the pros and cons. First, clean the air by passing it through the air filter more often. As a result, it will be necessary to change the filter more frequently. Second, it helps balance the temperatures in your home.

Third, if you have a basement, you can draw cool air from the basement to help cool the floor upstairs. Running the fan requires electricity, so you'll see an increase in your electricity bill. Secondly, the air in the basement is usually more humid than the air above. Humidity makes you uncomfortable in summer, so you'll need to lower your thermostat settings to get rid of moisture.

This is counterproductive, causing the air conditioner to work more often. You can also bring warm air from inside walls or attic to living spaces with the same result: your air conditioner will perform longer than it should, resulting in higher electricity costs. In summary, we do not recommend continuous fan mode as a standard operating procedure. This is the real question, isn't it? This question gets to the heart of the matter.

Follow these steps to find out when to change your air filter. You may hear a little wheezing even when the filter is clean. It will worsen when the filter is dirty. Know your system and the sounds it emits, to know what noises indicate a problem.

While these signs could mean that there is a problem with the blower, the filter is most likely dirty. It is blocking the flow of air to the system. If not enough air comes in, there won't be enough hot or cold air outlet. These hazards are easily avoided by checking the filter regularly and changing it when necessary.

More cycles mean more passes through the filter and opportunities to trap contaminants, so filters typically fill faster during periods of heavy use. Children are more sensitive than adults to indoor air pollutants such as mold, dust mite debris, dander and pollen, so make your home an oasis by using quality air filters and replacing them before they become too clogged and dirty. This class of air filter is excellent for homes with a limited budget where there are no occupants with respiratory problems. After a period of smoky days with poor outdoor air quality, inspect the air filter to see if it needs to be replaced.

Replacing filters regularly can keep homeowners and their families healthy through efficient air circulation. As a general rule, you'll want to replace your home's pleated air filters and heating filters every 90 days. Typical recommendations range from every 30 days for cheaper fiberglass filters (which often don't do a good job of filtering), to 6 months for high-end pleated filters. Air filters should be changed regularly in your home to keep the system running smoothly and to maintain optimal air quality.

Changing the air filter will help keep the parts of the air conditioner clean and prevent wear and tear. The lifespan of an air filter also depends on the size of the home, as larger homes circulate more air through the air filters. However, the smaller the appliance used for cooling, the small space usually comes with smaller filters, so you may need to change the filter as often as a filter in a larger home. For example, a family of four will need to change their air filters more often than a single person's home.

However, many homeowners are unaware of how often air filters need to be replaced, making their system vulnerable to damage. Fiberglass air filters are the more affordable of the two, but less efficient at capturing dust and particles in the air. If you live in a big city, pollutants such as smoke, dust and other debris will seep inside and clog the air filter at a much faster rate. During allergy season, air filters can work overtime to remove allergens, dust, and other debris circulating through the heating and cooling system.

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Janice Kampman
Janice Kampman

Subtly charming musicaholic. Zombie evangelist. Incurable travel lover. Devoted beer enthusiast. Passionate zombie specialist.

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